Sunday, August 31, 2008
Wednesday, May 21, 2008
It's easy to simply dismiss his psychotic rant as being a token of jealousy: indeed, it appears that if you add up my quotations line by line, I've published more in the Wall Street Journal than he has had published in anything. But on the other hand he's slept with more UVA Wise students than I have, so shouldn't that make us even?
Regardless, here is some history with Professor Nicholas Kiersey that virtually no one knows about.
He had his International Relations class literally SLANDER a conservative student on campus for a GRADE:
A prominent conservative on campus (the one The Highland Cavalier will actually publish) named Justin Jurek wrote an editorial claiming that the "Anti-war movement can be anti-American" or so the title went.
Kiersey's International Relations class then did a rebuttal in the next issue of the college paper. Keep in mind it was a class project and no one dissented--Kiersey kept detailed notes of his facilitation of the project. The class mis-characterized his argument as being that the "Anti-war movement IS anti-American" They even lied and said,
Mr. Jurek chooses to characterize the people of the Middle East as "terrorists and tyrants" and "enemies of civilization."
Needless to say, Justin Jurek never even used the words "terrorists and tyrants" or "enemies of civilization" in his editorial.
Anyway, long story short: we had kept his original editorial, scanned the image, and put it in Notes From Underground's counter-rebuttal to Kiersey's class proving they were lying about Jurek's argument, making quotes up out of thin air, etc.
The Non-Bribe Bribe
Kiersey then arranged for a hush-hush meeting to be held with me, himself, and another professor who was my adviser. At that meeting, he offered over $200 (the cost of printing the issue) for us to not distribute it on campus, sheepishly saying, "Don't take this as a bribe." A compromise was reached (at his protest!) where we censored ourselves for a rather glib insult we used against him in reference to a separate topic ("Kiersey flexed his spindly little academic muscles..." was what the fuss was about). We whited-out that one line and distributed the issue despite his protest.
The next incident happened when I caught him plagiarizing a book review done by the Southern Poverty Law center of Pat Buchanan's book State of Emergency. He quoted verbatim part of the review done by SPL with no citation. I took notice only because the original review resorts to outright fabrication--
White America is changing color, Buchanan argues -- "one of the greatest tragedies in human history." [note: said both by SPLC and by Kiersey in a slide used for his class]
And as trivia here's what Buchanan really said:
This is not immigration as America knew it, when men and women made a conscious choice to turn their backs on their native lands and cross the ocean to become Americans. This is an invasion, the greatest invasion in history. Nothing of this magnitude has ever happened in so short a span of time. There are 36 million immigrants and their children in the United States today, almost as many as came to America between Jamestown in 1607 and the Kennedy election of 1960. Nearly 90 percent of all immigrants now come from continents and countries whose peoples have never been assimilated fully into any Western country. Against the will of a vast majority of Americans, America is being transformed. As our elites nervously avert their gaze or welcome the invasion, we are witness to one of the great tragedies in human history.
It's plain for all to see that a) the SPLC read Buchanan's book and is deliberately and maliciously accusing him of racism. And b) Kiersey didn't read Buchanan's book, and stole a book review from a leftist think tank without citation. [note: I cannot find the slide in question anymore--however, at the time of the incident I showed it to a handful of inner-circle friends, a professor within Kiersey's department, and also his department chair.]
I really don't understand Professor Kiersey's duplicity. On one hand he says:
I can tell you that he is a thoughtful and intelligent young man, capable of great insight. Unlike many of the students who come to the campus, who instinctively replicate the dominant political worldview of their surrounding culture, Barber has the ability to explain the reasoning behind his views. With so much potential, it is a shame that his academic career has come to this end.
But then he goes on to say:
Since his arrival on campus in Fall of 2007, Mr Barber strategically sought to make himself a very public figure. He advocated extremely controversial viewpoints in a series of inflammatory articles in his underground newspaper, wherein he also regularly targeting "liberal" faculty for views he deemed to be anti-American....As the record suggests, Barber had a penchant for generating controversy simply for the sake of it. Where Barnes' actions were focused on raising awareness about an important issue, Barber's actions were of a rather more egotistical nature, focused simply on raising awareness about himself.
Had Mr Barber been allowed to remain in school, there would have been a revolt among faculty and students alike. The school was right to find whatever legal means it could to keep him from ever setting foot in the place again.
An ironic statement given that there actually was a protest IN SUPPORT OF ME outside of Dr. Juhan's office at my expulsion hearing. I'm also assuming I have some guardian angel faculty member who took the story to the Roanoke Times (they had my Notes From Underground email so I'm suspecting a friend not a foe).
It's funny that liberals (he likes saying "marxist with a little 'm'") like Kiersey rant and rave about diversity, but then when they start losing arguments they start calling their opponents gay. That's especially interesting because it was known in the newspapers that I am considering re-enlisting.
While it's true it is extremely un-collegiate to be outing students on their blogs, I suppose it would also be un-collegiate for me to announce that Kiersey has slept with multiple students on campus: something he bragged about at a drunken night in the local watering hole known as Mosby's. But then again, they kicked me out of school so who cares if I'm being un-collegiate. His braggadocio resulted in an emergency faculty meeting where faculty were reminded about their ethical obligations. Anyway, he's leaving Wise for some no-named place in Ohio.
Kiersey is really a nutball Marxist, who frequents Hamas propaganda sites to form his political opinions. Indeed in an entry on his own blog he referenced an article done by Electronic Intifada on how Obama is too pro-Israel (an assertion dubious as Holocaust denial IMO) as why he didn't support Obama.
I would pray that he gets deported back to Ireland, but on second thought he's probably too dangerous to be allowed on an airplane.
I remember it wasn't long ago when Kiersey was offering me job references:
I suppose after his plagiarism, blatant duplicity, unprofessional conduct, and affinity for Hamas propaganda, I could call Ohio University at Chillicothe to return the favor.
Tuesday, May 20, 2008
The Pen is Mightier...and More Dangerous(May 6, 2008) When Steven Barber turned in his midterm creative writing assignment at the University of Virginia's College at Wise (UVA-Wise), he was hoping for a good grade to complement his 3.9 grade point average. Instead, Barber was expelled from school, locked in a mental institution for three days, and had his concealed carry permit revoked.
by Jeff Knox
Barber's fictional story was a first person narrative of a troubled college student consumed by depression, paranoia, drug addiction, and alcoholism as he struggles with one of tragedy's recurrent themes, "To be or not to be." The character progresses through fear, anger, and despair; sleeping with a gun under his pillow after the Virginia Tech massacre, contemplating the murder of an unpleasant professor, and finally deciding on suicide. The entire story is just contemplation – no characters, real or fictional were harmed in the telling of the story – and Barber himself is nothing like the character he described.
But Barber's professor, Christopher Scalia, son of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, and some of the class members were uncomfortable with the story. No one complained about another student's paper which included violent, bloody murder, but that carnage was carried out with a knife while Barber's character had a gun. Perhaps someone in the class knew that Barber owned guns and feared that the character in the story represented its author's secret desires. Whatever their motivation, their concerns were shared with the college administration who decided to involve the campus police. Within 24 hours of sharing his writing project, Barber was confronted by campus police who questioned him about his frame of mind, searched his person and his room, and asked him about weapons. Barber, believing he had Virginia law on his side, admitted that he did have three pistols locked in his car whereupon the police searched the car and confiscated the guns.
A Navy veteran and Virginia Concealed Handgun Permit holder, Barber cooperated with the police and administration through all of the searches and questions even when they took him into custody and transported him to a mental hospital for three days of evaluation. After three days of questions, group therapy, tests, and more questions, Barber was given a clean bill of health and released on his own recognizance. Meanwhile his Concealed Weapons Permit had been revoked and he was expelled from the university.
Eventually the guns were turned over to Barber's father, but his appeal of the expulsion was denied and even though the prosecutor who rushed through an emergency revocation of the concealed carry permit admits that it was based on faulty information, Barber has not been able to get it reinstated. The prosecutor says that he based his request for the permit revocation on information from the campus police stating that Barber had been "involuntarily committed" when in fact he had simply been detained for observation and evaluation. Such a detention is not lawful grounds for the revocation of a permit, especially when the evaluation results in a clean bill of health. When questioned about the error, the prosecutor laid the blame on the campus police for using the wrong terminology, but went on to say that he intended to find some other mechanism to justify his actions and insure that Barber's permit is not restored.
There is no question that Barber violated school policy by having firearms in his locked car on campus, but he broke no laws. There is some disagreement about a college or university's right to prohibit firearms, particularly in locked cars. Virginia law forbids any government agency or entity from restricting firearms – even within the State Capitol – but makes an exception for colleges and universities to apply restrictions to staff and students. Barber contends that those restrictions can not extend to a locked car on campus whether it belongs to a student or not, but so far that contention has fallen on deaf ears. Barber would like to hire an attorney to challenge the school's position, regain admission to the university, and recoup his lost credit hours. He also needs an attorney to help him get his carry permit back, but the cost involved for these endeavors is beyond Barber's ability to manage and no offer of assistance has been forthcoming from any of the organizations with the wherewithal to provide it.
At this point Barber is working to pay off the unexpectedly due student loans for the education that was unexpectedly preempted and considering reenlisting in the Navy to help get his life back on track. He is hopeful that he will eventually be able to recover his carry permit, but has all but given up hope of forcing the school to reinstate him. It is simply tragic that this young man's future has been derailed all because he wrote a story that was just a little too compelling for an education system which believes tools instigate actions rather than the other way around.
Schools Struggle With Dark WritingsIn the Wake of Virginia Tech Killings,
Colleges Weigh Students' Safety vs. Free Speech
When Steven Barber turned in a short story this semester for his creative-writing class at the University of Virginia's College at Wise, his instructor was alarmed. The 23-year-old student had produced an imagined account of someone on the edge of a violent breakdown, touching on suicide and murder.
"It had to be acted on immediately," says Christopher Scalia, the instructor. He alerted administrators, who reacted swiftly, searching Mr. Barber's dorm room and car. Upon discovering three guns, they had him committed to a psychiatric institution for a weekend. Then they expelled him.
Yet the psychiatrists who evaluated Mr. Barber during his hospitalization determined he was no threat to himself or others. Mr. Barber says the guns were for protection from threats such as school shootings. He maintains that his story, titled "Sh---y First Drafts," was merely a fictional attempt to address school shootings such as the April 16, 2007, Virginia Tech massacre, which left 33 dead, including the gunman. The story "was supposed to show how disturbed people are who do that," Mr. Barber says.
In the year before the Virginia Tech massacre, the gunman, Seung-Hui Cho, wrote multiple pieces of alarming fiction that troubled teachers and classmates alike. Now, schools are trying to distinguish the dark musings of college fiction from deadly manifestos that foretell campus violence. But the schools, trying to protect their communities, don't always know when to act. And when they do, they may infringe on the rights of those students under scrutiny.
After the shootings, the creative-writing faculty at Virginia Tech put out a guide to help instructors identify and respond to disturbing fictional work. The University of New Mexico has created a hot line to take calls from professors with worries about students, including concerns about writing that contains "credible threats of harm to self or others." And Boston University has published a brochure, "Helping Students in Distress," that advises faculty to watch for writing with themes of "hopelessness, social isolation, rage or despair," among other things.
Yet some experts worry that these measures pose legal or ethical risks. Psychologists caution that it is nearly impossible to predict future violence. Professors are being asked to do something for which they are untrained -- assess a work for signs of a troubled psyche. Complicating the issue further, college students are at an age where the part of the brain that manages behavior is still developing, so they don't always understand the consequences of their words. "It takes a lot more than one or two papers to see if someone has a psychiatric problem," says Gwen Dungy, executive director of NASPA -- Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education.
If they overreact, schools could violate students' privacy and civil rights. Some schools, such as Valdosta State University in Valdosta, Ga., are finding it helpful to scrutinize students' Facebook or MySpace pages, for example. First Amendment experts warn that this practice can violate freedom-of-speech protections.
"Right now, if a university administrator claims that someone is a threat, even if that threat is virtually unsupportable and completely unreasonable, they have carte blanche to do what they want," says Greg Lukianoff, president of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education.
He cites an incident last year at Valdosta State as a case in point. After T. Hayden Barnes read in the student newspaper about the school's plan to build two multimillion-dollar parking decks, he posted fliers around campus objecting to the project for environmental reasons. Mr. Barnes, now 23, also wrote about it on his blog, voiced his concerns to several members of the school's board of regents and asked objectors to contact the university's president, Ronald M. Zaccari. Within a month, Mr. Barnes says, President Zaccari had met with him and told him that he had "personally embarrassed him" and that Mr. Zaccari "could not forgive him." Mr. Barnes says he apologized.
Mr. Barnes then had a letter to the editor of the student paper published and created a collage that he posted on his Facebook page. It included several pictures -- of automobile exhaust, a gas mask and the university president, among other images -- and the words, "Zaccari Memorial Parking Garage."
On May 7, 2007, Mr. Barnes, then a junior, found a letter from President Zaccari under his dorm-room door saying that Mr. Barnes presented "a clear and present danger" and that he had been expelled. Attached was a copy of his collage.
In order to apply for readmission, the letter said, Mr. Barnes would need to present correspondence from a psychiatrist indicating that he wasn't a danger to himself or others, as well as documentation proving he would receive therapy during his tenure at school.
Mr. Barnes sued the university and its board of regents in January, claiming freedom-of-speech and due-process violations, among other complaints. "Political persecution under the guise of mental-health threats shouldn't happen on our campuses," he says. Mr. Barnes appealed the expulsion. On Jan. 17, 2008, the administration sent him a one-sentence letter saying he had been reinstated. His suit is pending. Valdosta State declined to comment on the case.
What distinguishes Mr. Barber's experience at Wise College is that the school took action over a classroom assignment for which he was expected to exercise his imagination. The problem for Mr. Scalia, the instructor, was the story's references to the class and its assignments and to the murder of a professor called Mr. Christopher, a name identical to his own first name. Mr. Barber, a Navy veteran who served in the Iraq war, wrote of stockpiling alcohol and drugs for a binge and sleeping with the "cold and heavy steel" of a gun under his pillow. "I knew I had a choice," he wrote. "Murder or suicide. Either way, death was imminent."
Mr. Scalia, son of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, says he had strongly recommended that students not write in the first person and avoid depictions of excessive alcohol or drug use. He gave these instructions, he said, to prevent clichéd writing and to help them develop perspectives other than their own. Mr. Barber ignored his advice. "I went straight to the administration because the story was directed at me," says Mr. Scalia, adding he had received an email from a student expressing her own concerns about the piece.
Administrators at Wise, in Wise., Va., detained and questioned Mr. Barber on Friday, Feb. 29, the morning after he passed out copies of his draft. Campus police found three weapons in his car: a revolver and two semiautomatic weapons. Two guns were loaded. Mr. Barber says he showed them his permit to carry concealed weapons. Wise prohibits guns on campus. Mr. Barber told administrators that he wasn't suicidal or homicidal, and that he chose the subject because "everybody cares about Virginia Tech."
"The military trusted me to guard a billion-dollar warship with an automatic machine gun," he says, "but I can't bring a little pistol to class, and I have a permit?"
Wise College declined to comment on the specifics of Mr. Barber's case. Gary Juhan, a university vice chancellor, says that when assessing whether a student is a danger to himself or others, administrators look at everything they know about the student, including behavior, past writings, gun ownership and judicial history. "We try to build as complete a picture as we can," he says. "You have to go quickly as distress can be carried out to the community."
When he turned in his story, Mr. Barber was on university probation for charges that included violating the school's alcohol policy and possession of a "tonfa," a martial-arts weapon similar to a policeman's nightstick. He says that he had a 3.9 grade-point average for the fall semester and made the dean's list, and that he had participated in a debate on race relations the night he turned in his story. "That's not antisocial behavior," he says.
Then school administrators got a temporary-detention order for Mr. Barber, mandating that he be held at a local psychiatric hospital for evaluation. Mr. Barber spent the weekend there, in an unlocked room with a nurse checking on him every 15 minutes. "I was scared to be alone," he says. "There are literally mentally ill people there."
On Monday morning, the hospital released Mr. Barber, after deciding he was neither mentally ill nor a threat to himself or others. He wasn't allowed to return to campus. Several days later, the university expelled him. He unsuccessfully appealed his expulsion.
Mr. Barber says now that he wouldn't write the same story. "I want to be at Wise, so I would write about butterflies and rainbows."
The college stands by its actions, but Mr. Juhan, the vice chancellor, is sensitive to potential downsides of its approach. Says Mr. Juhan: "How long would Edgar Allan Poe, who attended the University of Virginia, have lasted with his writings?"
It bears repeating that:
A) I was slandered by the college when they said I was involuntarily committed when I hadn't been.
B) Virginia has a pre-emption law for firearms. The school's ban on firearms is illegal.
C) If the only school policy I violated was the (illegal) ban on firearms, then that would not be a violation of my probation with the University.
I really need legal help, so if anyone is interested in helping me out, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org . (Or if you're from the Heritage Foundation, you should just cut to the chase and hire me :-) )
Friday, April 11, 2008
Overreactions Unfairly Stigmatize Mentally Ill
Austin is retired and lives in Wytheville.
In the news recently were articles about an expelled UVa-Wise student. I do not know all the story, but what caught my eye was the police saying the man was committed to a mental institution from Feb. 29 to March 3, at which time his evaluators found nothing wrong with him. Yet his permit for a gun had already been suspended.
My concern is how out of control law officers and all law personnel are with fear, and then how the media can ruin a person's life in his or her neighborhood.
I feel something should be done, but what? I have horrible anxiety attacks to where I must call someone to come in and sit with me, all because I wrote a letter to Gov. Kaine on Aug. 20 and asked someone to read it and tell me if I should change anything. She either did not read the entire letter or mistook the last lines as my being suicidal.
She got a restraining order. I was picked up, hauled away and no family member knew where I was for three days. When I saw a doctor, judge and others the third day, they understood it was not a suicide note but a letter asking for help.
I was sent home to a burned supper and pans that had cooked for three days. Most horrible is the attitude I get from the neighbors. In their opinion, the police surely would not have hauled me off if I hadn't been crazy. The anxiety attacks are so horrible; I have days I do not go out or answer the phone. And, yes, I take medication and therapy.
If this young man has even a ghost of a chance finding a lawyer to sue, I wish him good luck. Most of all I pray someone can start classes to teach government officials, police officers, lawyers or whomever that there is a difference between real honest threats and just written words for a class paper or a letter asking for help.
I agree they can take immediate action in case of danger; however, within an hour, no longer than two, they should call in family or relatives to understand, especially if it is a written letter. Coming in like vultures and having no reasoning is just as bad or worse than what slaves went through.
I am not a doctor, lawyer or anyone of importance, but I can tell when someone is a danger by watching that person.
The actions of a person who commits suicide or kills someone should be compiled along with their history, and classes given at all schools and colleges to help people see the signs. Just the few details the media give us after a tragedy shows there were signs long before and no one took notice. Did the man stand out as angry or odd?
In past generations, people in my family have committed suicide. They were angry and short-tempered for days, then suddenly one day everything was so great the family couldn't understand. They did however a few hours later when the person was found dead.
The whole point of this letter to the editor is that often there is a serious disconnect between the person's actions (asking for help/writing an essay) and the reaction (TDO, etc.). In my case that this person cites and in their case they were adjudicated to NOT be mentally ill.
Didn't stop the Roanoke Times from monkeying around with the headline. Sheesh.
Wednesday, April 9, 2008
In the editorial, “UVa-Wise made the right call,” the writer implied that not knowing the outcome of Steve Barber’s mental health evaluation is equivalent to Barber being found a danger to himself and others. First, some education for the lazy journalist.
The record of Barber’s hearing is on file at the General District Court clerk’s office and it should be open to the public. If Barber was judged to be a danger to himself or to others, he would have remained in state custody. That he was released after his evaluation speaks for itself.
If Barber was judged to be a danger to himself or others, recent changes in state law would mandate the forfeiture of his 2nd Amendment rights. Barber still has the right to keep and bear arms. Do the math.
Barber lost his concealed carry permit not by operation of law, but by the fearful overreaction of the commonwealth attorney doing some good old-fashioned CYA.
I agree that Barber’s choices that lead to his predicament were questionable. However, it is now apparent in this post-Virginia Tech world that fear, not freedom, rules on our college campuses.
Barber did not shout “fire” in a crowded theater. A dark and sinister essay does not even compare to that classic example of where the Supreme Court has drawn the line on the “freedom of speech.”
Instead, UVa-Wise is showing classic overreaction based on the fear of what might be. So, now students are best served if they never write anything that might be controversial or perceived as threatening to anyone who might read it.
I suppose UVa-Wise (and the Bristol Herald Courier) believes that freedom of expression is a small price for feeling safe on a college campus, right?
Thursday, March 20, 2008
It is well established in Virginia that a university, through its board, "‘has not only the powers expressly conferred upon it, but it also has the implied power to do whatever is reasonably necessary to effectuate the powers expressly granted.’" This broad authority does not, however, supersede statutory or case law, public policy, or explicit statements of the General Assembly regarding specific topics.
The powers expressly conferred and possessed by the governing body of an educational institution include the authority "[t]o establish rules and regulations for the conduct of students while attending such institution" and "[t]o establish rules and regulations for the employment of professors, teachers, instructors, and all other employees and provide for their dismissal for failure to abide by such rules and regulations."
The University of Virginia has promulgated a "Security and Firearms Policy," which provides that "[t]he possession, storage, or use of any kind of ammunition, firearms, fireworks, explosives, air rifles and air pistols on University-owned or operated property, without the expressed written permission of the University Police, is prohibited."
It is my opinion that the safe operation of the campus allows regulation of, or under limited circumstances, prohibition of, firearms by any persons attending events on campus, visiting dormitories or classroom buildings, attending specific events as invitees, or under any circumstance permitted by law. The universal prohibition of firearms by properly permitted persons other than students, faculty, administration, or employees, however, is not allowed under law. A board of visitors has responsibility for the protection of the students enrolled at their university. At the same time, the rights guaranteed by the Second Amendment of the Constitution of the United States and by Article I, § 13, of the Constitution of Virginia, which protect all citizens, may not be summarily dismissed for transient reasons.
In light of the General Assembly’s specific statements regarding the limits of carrying concealed handguns and the grant of authority to colleges and universities to regulate the conduct of students and employees, it is my opinion that neither a board of visitors nor a president of a public college or university may infer authority from its enabling legislation to adopt a universal prohibition of carrying concealed handguns by holders with valid permits.
It is clear from the context of the opinion that the AG did not intend to support an unlimited blanket prohibition of concealed carry by permit holding students. He cites UVA's policy which allows for concealed carry with explicit written permission of the campus police. UVA Wise had no such policy. It's not regulation, it's a blanket prohibition dismissing Constitutional rights for transient reasons.
Also note that AG opinions are non-binding.
He fails to address the pre-emption law or Dillon's Rule.
§ 15.2-915. Control of firearms; applicability to authorities and local governmental agencies.
A. No locality shall adopt or enforce any ordinance, resolution or motion, as permitted by § 15.2-1425, and no agent of such locality shall take any administrative action, governing the purchase, possession, transfer, ownership, carrying, storage or transporting of firearms, ammunition, or components or combination thereof other than those expressly authorized by statute. For purposes of this section, a statute that does not refer to firearms, ammunition, or components or combination thereof, shall not be construed to provide express authorization.
The provisions of this section applicable to a locality shall also apply to any authority or to a local governmental entity, including a department or agency, but not including any local or regional jail or juvenile detention facility.
B. Any local ordinance, resolution or motion adopted prior to the effective date of this act governing the purchase, possession, transfer, ownership, carrying or transporting of firearms, ammunition, or components or combination thereof, other than those expressly authorized by statute, is invalid.
Under the Administrative Process Act, an “Agency”
is defined as “any authority, instrumentality, officer, board or
other unit of the state government empowered . . . to make
regulations or decide cases.” Code § 2.2-4001 (emphasis added).
To this effect, Code § 23-14 states that all state-affiliated
four-year universities are “governmental instrumentalities;”
Code § 23-9.2:3 supplies the “governing body of every
educational institution” with the power to promulgate certain
necessary “rules and regulations.” Perhaps most significantly,
Title 8 of the Virginia Administrative Code actually denominates
University of Virginia which administers UVA-Wise within its text as the Commonwealth’s
“Agency No. 85.” 8 V.A.C. 85, Agency Introduction.
UVA as a corporate authority here (shaky, but do-able argument)
"The College is a community of scholars in which the ideals of freedom of inquiry, freedom of thought, freedom of expression, and freedom of the individual are sustained. It is committed to preserving the exercise of any right guaranteed to individuals by the Constitution."
Tuesday, March 18, 2008
John Locke from Christ Church College, Oxford
Robert Frost from Dartmouth (fyi some scholars say voluntary withdrawl)
Tom DeLay from Baylor University
And last but not least
Steve Barber from University of Virginia's College at Wise...
Monday, March 17, 2008
Barber also has angrily challenged claims made in Scott County court documents that he was involuntarily committed to a mental institution after the guns were found. It was the assertion by campus police that he had been committed that led a judge to suspend his concealed-carry permit.
Barber has shown The Roanoke Times copies of a temporary detention order signed Feb. 29 and a release paper dated March 3. Together, they appear to indicate that he was held in a mental institution for several days but that his evaluators found nothing wrong with him.
Scott County Commonwealth's Attorney Marcus McClung said he had viewed the situation as an emergency that needed a fast response. He pursued the petition using the best evidence he had available: testimony from a campus police sergeant that Barber had been committed.
McClung said he's preparing a new petition using a different statute, under which the issue of whether Barber was committed won't matter.
He noted that the suspension doesn't affect Barber's right to own firearms, and that Barber can appeal.
Asked about Barber's assertion that the college gave the wrong information to authorities, college Vice Chancellor Gary Juhan replied, "I can't comment on that."
Friday, March 14, 2008
Fascinating. Will they come back?
Update: Two comments are back...
Update: No comments...
I'm gonna stop looking until tomorrow.
He can't find the IC because it doesn't exist.
But he can't find the TDO???
I got my medical records today.
Trivia: Leila Bradshaw (school counselor) signed the Petition to TDO. Daphne Blanton's name is on the TDO. No wonder "they can't find it." LOL!
Best line from my medical records:
"Mental Status Exam: The patient is alert and oriented x4, friendly and cooperative with interviewer, maintaining fair eye contact throughout. Patient's speech is regular rate, rhythm, and tone. Thought process appears to be logical and coherent. The patient's thought content was without suicidal or homicidal ideation, plan or intent. The patient denies any auditory or visual hallucinations. The patient states his mood as "open", "really all right ", with affect [sic:
effect] being congruent and full. Attention and concentration not explicitly tested. Insight and judgment appears to be grossly intact."
Stuff that in your pipe and smoke it, Bristol Herald Courier!
Which is a Media General News Service wire story so it gets spread all over the ENTIRE state...
So how about that follow up question...I dunno...
"Mr. Barber, what were the results from that SOL essay you wrote that was red flagged?"
"Well Mr. Owens, I'm so glad you asked. I made a perfect score. A 600."
Yes, I told Mike Owens that I did make a perfect score and no, he didn't report it.
Bristol Herald Courier, all the slime that's unfit to print.
My public intox charge establishes that I'm a recovering alcoholic, yes. But the incident on Feb. 29 was not alcohol related or criminal related for that matter (notice I haven't been charged with anything...)
My charges were dropped by the prosecutor for the assault/battery, petty theft, and felony trespassing with intent to assault/batter. The statement they gave campus police on the scene and the one filed out in town the next day were as different as night and day (read: made up) so they were dropped. Bringing up dropped charges to defame my reputation is sheer muckraking.
The fact that I was on probation with the school would only be applicable if I had broken a school rule that the school had the authority to enforce. The school broke the law with their firearm ban, and didn't have the authority to enforce it. That is not a violation of my probation.
Thursday, March 13, 2008
From The Jimson Weed, one of the school publications.
Hat-tip to an unnamed MECC student. Good work.
I'm normally a passionate defender of freespeech, but I'm deleting trolls.
Update: I would like to point out that as soon as I announce my intentions that I plan on re-enlisting, there are allegations that I'm gay.
I don't know who you are OutingBarber, but I think most people see this for what it is.
No, I'm not. After 3 days of an intense psych evaluation at Ridgeview Pavillion they determined that *shock* I'm not mentally ill, nor am I a threat to myself or others.
Are you an alcoholic?
Did alcohol have anything to do with this incident?
No. So quit muckraking.
Have you ever been involuntarily committed?
But Commonwealth Attorney Marcus McClung said that?
He was given mistaken information from the school (violating FERPA btw) and was not looking at my medical records. I'm in the process of retrieving those now, but the truth is also in the timeline. I was issued a temporary detention order on Feb 29 where the crisis counselor/magistrate found probable cause that I was mentally ill and a threat to myself and/or others. At my first and only hearing to determine if an IC was necessary, the judge found that I was not mentally ill, nor a threat to others based on the aforementioned intense psychological scrutiny. I was released that Monday. It's impossible for a TDO and an IC to go down where I'm released after such a short period of time.
You were violating school policy--what gives?
It is my contention that the school policy is illegal. Under the Dillon Rule and because the college is a public college, they lacked the statutory power to prohibit firearms. Also, as a governmental entity they are prohibited from limiteding the possession of firearms under Virginia's Preemption law. Also the Code of Conduct states: "It [the college] is committed to preserving the exercise of any right guaranteed to individuals by the Constitution." Also, an attorney general opinion found "It is my opinion that the governing boards of Virginia’s public colleges and universities may not impose a general prohibition on the carrying of concealed weapons by permitted individuals." In other words the blanket ban on guns that UVA-Wise has is unconstitutional in the opinion of the Attorney General, the school policy needs to be changed, not the student thrown out.
Have you had problems with the professor in question before?
No, he's an outstanding guy.
Have you had problems with the Vice Chancellor that ruled to expell you?
Yes. He had censored my underground newspaper in the past, and I was looking forward to mentioning that he was illegally employing "prior restraint" the next time he submitted an application to be Chancellor.
Have you had problems with your classmates in the creative writing class?
No. I had written very positive reviews of their short stories--encouraging some of them to publish. I didn't know them outside of class, but our relations in class were friendly IMO.
Do you think being on probation with the school for the alcohol incident was a factor in expelling you?
It shouldn't be. I violated school policy and more importantly the Code of Conduct back then. I took full responsibility for it. I was wrong. But the only 'rule' I violated this time was illegally employeed by the college--not a reason to expell me. An anologous example would be the Virginia law against flag burning. It's on the books, but it has been ruled to be unconstitutional. If I burn a flag (which I'm against btw) then I shouldn't be arrested despite it STILL being on the books.
Are they out to 'get you'?
[Edit: Re-reading this on Feb 21 2009, I disagree with the below assessment.]
There isn't some conspiracy to bring me down and stifle the potentional lawsuit, no. There are some students who don't like me, never have, and are definatly making their case known. Good sources say that the Residential Hall Director sent out a mass email to some students he was friends with claiming I had a hit list, etc. That started a lot of the rumors and hype on campus. Someone with an obvious grudge has started rumors that I'm a gay rapist or something at opencarry.org. That's BS.
How do you get along with your other professors?
[Edit: Feb 21 2009, Kiersey and I soured after this was posted.]
Great. Dr. Sheldon, Dr. Michael, even Professor Kiersey and I get along (our politial views are pretty much opposite and I gave him a hard time in the paper once).
There have been many comparisons to Cho--are you anti-social?
HA! Hardly. I have lots of friends and most of them are supporting me now. I also find it humorous that people who think I'm crazy/antisocial like Cho ALSO think I caused this whole thing as a desperate plea for attention. Mike Allen at the Roanoke Times (the first reporter with the story) called me, I didn't call him. After that broke, Mike Owens from the Bristol Courier called me--they have a reputation of sensational journalism so I called the Kingsport Times to guarantee that at least my side was heard somewhere.
As of today, who has your guns?
[Edit: Feb 29 2009, my wife.]
What were you like in highschool?
Very quiet. I was a good student. I was a lot closer to my teachers than I was my fellow students--but I still had a few tight knit friends.
If you could go back knowing what you know now, would you write the shortstory?
No. I had no idea it would cause students or the professor to feel threatened. I would never do that intentionally.
If you could go back knowing what you know now, would you still have the guns in your car?
Yes. [edit: I change my mind on this one pretty often, so don't hold me to that answer]
What would Thomas Jefferson say about you having guns at Mr. Jefferson's College at Wise?
He would say: "The laws that forbid the carrying of arms are laws of such a nature. They disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes....Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man."
What was your goal in writing an essay about a character who considers homicide then decides on suicide--especially with the character being a student?
I wanted to write about something cuturally relevent to the readers--a professor and english students. My intent was to show how, at least in my imagination, it's like inside of the minds of one of these lunatics that people think I am now because they can't seperate the author from the character.
I have heard rumors that you had a stockpile of weapons--but not firearms--in your room, is there any truth to that?
In September when the police went into my room to see how much I had drunk, they discovered some martial arts weapons (tonfa and foam/plastic nunchuku) that I had in storage. I haven't practiced or trained with those for about six years.
Did police discover any from this incident?
They discovered the SAME foam/plastic nunchuku that THEY left in my bag from September. Because that was their mistake, they didn't bring that to the attention of the school administration.
Did anyone read the paper before you submitted it to your classmates?
Yes. My girlfriend, Shamerine.
And she wasn't concerned?
If she was, she didn't tell me.
Jim Williams: To Mr. Barber. From the previous story it sounded as though you had stepped on some toes and unfortunantely the submission of your story which reminded the staff of the writings of the VT shooter gave them the ammo they needed to get rid of you. Your mental evaluation was satisfactory I suppose. Thank you for your willingness to serve this country.
Ann Smith: It is not very often that a story can give you the feeling of being kicked in the stomach but this one has. It is revolting and ridiculous that this young man did as the school asked by writing a fictious story for a creative writing class and is now being persecuted for it. Well if the university does not want any type of violent content on its campus, they need to clean house starting with it's own library. Then move onto every dorm room with a Playstation and toss those games (try pointing out one rated above E that does not contain violence). Not to mention the author of the story about the girl who kills her boyfriend by stabbing! Shouldn't this person be expelled as well?
Joe Allison: I wonder what UVA-Wise would have done to Senator Jim Webb if he had attended college there. He came back from serving in Vietnam and wrote several novels based on his experiences there, some of it was violent and sexual in nature. If he had been attending school at UVA-Wise and submitted this kind of material to a creative writing class would the university have tried to railroad him out of school like they did Daniel Barber? I think Mr. Barber should write to Senator Webb about this travisty and he should also lawyer up and go after the university. In my opinion he's due some major compensation.
Chuck Williams: You see news stories about adults who write stories regarding sick and twisted things such as pedophilia, but the liberal politically correct crowd yell that it's protected as free speech. Although this young man's story is a little bizarre, isn't it protected as well? The ironic thing is that he's served his country protecting the very thing that's not been given to him. Sad, very sad. Good point about Jim Webb, Mr. Allison.
Amanda Piper: I am a student at UVA-Wise and I know Barber Personally. The only reason this really caused such a "scare" on campus was due to the rumors that flew around without students really knowing what happened. I may not have been in his creative writing course, but I was close with him as a friend and I have read the story. The incident at VA Tech had a student who was withdrawn, had been commited before, and consitently wrote macabre stories. Barber wrote one story, and if we cannot write stories in college, in our creative writing classes without being expelled then reason really has been replaced by the paranoia of the school system. Barber was well liked by a good portion of the faculty, and had many friends. He was outgoing and did not exibit any signs of being violent! A student "giving trouble" to a professor is not violent behavior, so the professor had no reason to feel threatened by Barber. Perhaps it is only my close perspective, or even my far perspective (coming from far out-of-state) that allows me to feel that this is a case of paranoia rather than "reason". Had any of you met Steve personally, you would know his behavior is almost the opposite of threatening.
Dan Jones (in response to some negative comments here ): I've decided to put some fact out their for Ms. Brittany and Mr. Gregory. First to Brittany, I'm the editor for the newspaper "Notes from Underground" that circulates on the campus, if you don't believe me you can find the last issue and check, so your, "if you don't go to UVA-Wise then stay out of it" argument isn't going to work on me. I'm going to go ahead and tell everyone here, Steve's paper was no worse, and in my opinion it was less, 'threatening' than whats being reported. Their wasn't even any violence in it, only contemplation. Now for Gregory. First Im going to cite the Virginia Attorney General's opinion, which can be found here: http://www.oag.state.va.us/OPINIONS/2006opns/05-078.pdf "It is my opinion that the governing boards of Virginia’s public colleges and universities may not impose a general prohibition on the carrying of concealed weapons by permitted individuals." In other words the blanket ban on guns that UVA-Wise has is unconstitutional in the opinion of the Attorney General, the school policy needs to be changed, not the student thrown out. And your "legal under the Constitution but not under school policy" is a little maddening, are adult students at universities supposed to have less rights than in other places? And our code of conduct in the student handbook says, "It (the college) is committed to preserving the exercise of any right guaranteed to individuals by the Constitution." Is the right to bear arms not an individual right? You asked if I remember VT, yes I do, I remember that over 30 unarmed people were killed that day, they had to run and hide behind doors and basically get killed execution style because they had no way to defend themselves. Now I have a question for you, do you remember the Appalachian School of Law shooting? if you don't, only three people died in that incident because when the shooting started two students went out to their cars, got their personal firearms and ended the shooting. Your right that their needs to be a fear in this country, but a fear of an administration that would strip its members of a basic human right, not of students having guns.
The Bristol Courier has been aweful reporting the facts around the incident at UVA Wise.
What they describe as a "burning desire to kill his professor" amounts to just a few lines where the main character is considering it. Then he decides not to because "love transcends all transgressions, real or imagined." The last few pages deal with the character deciding to commit suicide. That's it. Period. No murder. In fact the line quoted as "And soon Mr. Christopher, there will be no life." is a reference to the character committing suicide as it occurs AFTER the character decides he can't kill the professor. The Courier has the essay and it's deliberatly quoted out of context.
And the character doesn't even do anything! Just think and write. How is the potentional death of one (fictional) person a "suicidal rampage" as their cohorts at the Media General News Service reported based on the phone interview I did with Mike Owens at the Courier.
Today, the paper is digging up dirt on me from highschool almost a decade ago! Yes, I wrote something for one of my English SOL's which was redflagged, and I had to do a quick interview with the school counselor (I think her name was Mrs. Scott). She determined I wasn't depressed or anything, and said (not in these exact words) that the interview was pro forma. The Courier should have mentioned I made a perfect score with that essay.
Yes, I got in trouble with the school in September. I was drunk and stumbled into someone else's room by mistake. I didn't hurt anybody. I didn't threaten anybody. I was arrested on the scene for public intox. It's the best thing to happen to me because that is what it took for me to finally get treatment. And let me add as an aside, that I'm not the first Iraq War vet to need treatment for alcoholism.
I was charged with other things from the incident (Felony trespassing with intent to commit assault and battery, assault and battery, and petty theft). On the first day at trial, the prosecutor motioned to dismiss those charges because the statement that the accuser made downtown at the police station the next day was nothing like the statement he gave campus police on the scene. What happend on February 29 was not an alcohol related incident, and is sheer muckraking trying to destroy the messenger.
I fight tooth and nail to get reporters to clarify that I've never been involuntarily committed, only TDO'd--and they just print that the commonwealth attorney claimed was "involuntarily committed" with air quotes that lack context explaining why that got the air quotes. Yes, the commonwealth attorney said that--but he got his information from the school (the false information I should add) NOT from my medical records.
And when the Kingsport Times does a very good job of making that distinction, I read in the Courier the next day that I'm a "criminal" and an alcoholic.
Meanwhile, I'm still trying to figure out the identity of the person at the opencarry.org discussion with the user name OutingBarber who claimed I was a gay rapist in reference to the alcohol incident I talked about above. That's absolute BS.